Humble Means

Luke 1:26 – 38 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant…Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 

And coming in, he said to her, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was very perplexed at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’ 

Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason, the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 

And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bond-slave of the Lord; may it be done me according to your word. And the angel departed her. 

This was a busy time for Gabriel: I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 1:19. Gabriel first appears to Zacharias to announce the birth of John the Baptist, and some months later, he appears to Mary to announce her virgin birth of Jesus. 

What would it be like to be one who resides in the presence of God, but then on occasion, has to go on a mission to earth? Might be like living in the beautiful Ozark mountains with the stunning scenery, cool breezes, and mild temperatures – and — then going to Houston in August for a business trip. I’m just saying… 

Seriously, one who stands in the presence of God — I can’t comprehend. I guess I can imagine, but whatever I conceive, even if I try to be as expansive in my thoughts as possible, I truly cannot comprehend the reality: to be in the literal presence of God. Yet, someday, I will behold Him, face to face. What a day that will be. Considering that day keeps me aware of the brevity of this life and the proper priorities I should keep before me. 

Ok, back to earth —- 

We are reading about the most significant era in the history of the world, the time of Christ upon the earth. The only rival era – not really a rival but a completion — in history, past or future, will be the Day of the Lord — His second coming and the events surrounding that period of time. But for now, we are plunging into the time of Jesus of Nazareth; living, breathing and walking among the men and women of Galilee.  

This is a special time – But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4.4. 

The fullness of the time came: within the administration of God’s perfect timetable, when the exact religious, cultural, and political conditions were in place, God sent His Son. The manner in which He sent Him, speaks to the manner of life He would live and the manner of life we should live as well. He was born into humble means, through a humble mother, to live His human life in humility and service. We should live likewise. 

Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus. 

What attitude is that? 

Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men. 

So, He was fully God, equal to God the Father, yet, he took on the likeness of a man. Why? 

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 

It all begins with humble means, through a humble mother, in a humble manger, to live His human life in humility and service. In the future, on the Day of Lord, He will come as the mighty King, reigning and ruling. But His first visit to planet earth was as a servant. Someday, we will live in glory and honor ourselves. But for now, on the pilgrimage on planet earth, we are to serve, love, and walk humbly with our God.  

Like Mary, may we say, ‘Behold, (I am) the bond-slave of the Lord; may it be done me according to your word. And the angel departed her.’ 

Father, when we set our mind on our future home in heaven, it helps us maintain our humility while on earth. We confess our human nature tests us and tempts us to pride, self-protection, and pleasure. But remind us daily, through Your Word, that before we reign with You in the future, we first are to serve, to love kindness and justice and to walk humbly with You, our God. Amen.